JESSE Hogan is expected to play at least one more game in the VFL before making his debut for Greater Western Sydney, despite a successful return to the field last week.
The Giants' prized recruit had his first competitive hitout for his new club against Sydney's VFL team in a practice match on Friday, getting through the game unscathed and impressing the GWS coaching staff with how he performed.
The 26-year-old played more than 80 minutes and showed no signs of the quad injury that struck him down in late February, moving well throughout the match and covering plenty of ground.
The Giants coaches were particularly pleased with Hogan's clean ball use and unselfish play, as he regularly brought his younger teammates into the game with smart knock-ons and handballs.
Hogan pulled up fine from the game, but given his past injury concerns the Giants are expected to take a cautious approach and play him in round one of the VFL this Saturday, rather than the Sydney Derby.
The Swans take on GWS in their VFL season opener at Tramway Oval from 12pm Saturday, four hours before the two clubs' senior teams face off across the road at the SCG.
Hogan has been on a modified training program since joining the Giants in last year's Trade Period, when he arrived from Fremantle in exchange for pick No.54.
He kicked 18 goals in 19 games during his two years at the Dockers, which were marred by a string of form, injury and off-field issues.
The 195cm tall Hogan built a reputation before that as one of the top emerging key forwards in the competition, booting more than 40 goals in three of his four completed seasons at Melbourne. He won the NAB AFL Rising Star in 2015 in his second season on the senior list at the Demons, after his first year was ruined by a back injury.
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Hogan is looking to reignite his career on a one-year deal at the Giants, who are still trying to find the right forward mix to work with Toby Greene and Harry Himmelberg after Jeremy Cameron's move to Geelong last year.
Jeremy Finlayson and Jake Riccardi are also vying for a tall forward position, and put form and injury problems behind them to play their first games of the season in the Giants' 30-point win over Collingwood.
Finlayson kicked four goals and was one of the Giants' best, while Riccardi booted one goal, ensuring there is suddenly strong competition for spots in the GWS forward line.